After serving their first church-service mission, Brother and Sister Peterson just can’t stop.
Church-service missions (CSMs) are the best kind of addicting. Just ask Charles and Karen Peterson of the Lakewood Stake in Lakewood, Colorado.
When their first mission ended as managers of the bishops’ storehouse for the Denver area, it wasn’t long before they signed up for another CSM—this time as an office couple in the Colorado Denver South Mission. When that mission is over in February of 2016, they’re thinking seriously about signing on for a third tour of duty in Utah, where seven of their ten grandchildren live, this time serving in a family history center.
Brother and Sister Peterson explain why they can’t stop:
Sister Peterson (who raised three boys as a homemaker and for many years worked as an office manager for a Denver area mergers and acquisitions firm) said: “One reason [we keep doing this] is we just truly love the service. It’s so great to be able to do something once you’re retired and feel like you’re serving the Lord in ways we didn’t have the chance [to] when we were younger and our kids were growing up. Our second mission is a totally different experience than our first one. The experience we had at the storehouse was great, working with members and nonmembers alike and understanding how Heavenly Father blesses each one of us through both trials and good times. We had an opportunity to bear testimony there, but it wasn’t quite the same as being able to go out with missionaries and teaching lessons, which is what we are able to do working in the mission office.
“The second reason is we know how difficult it’s going to be to leave. We love how it makes us feel. We just don’t want that to stop.”
Brother Peterson, after graduating from BYU, worked for the federal government his entire professional career, leading training seminars and evaluating government programs. Prior to the two missions he’s served with his wife, he was transient services bishop for the Denver area for two and a half years. He added: “It’s so great to be able to see the good things that go on in the Church. To see the welfare program at work, like we did at the bishops’ storehouse, is a marvelous thing. And now to be able to work alongside these young missionaries [in the Colorado Denver South Mission] and hear about all the wonderful miracles as people learn about the gospel and are baptized is such a blessing. The young people keep us hopping, that’s for sure. It’s so good to be associated with them. We really enjoy that. It makes you want to continue serving the Lord and helping other people. Once you get started, you just want to keep going.”